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Lazy SS question
Old 12-19-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
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Lazy SS question

This is another what if. I have a niece that has worked off and on at various jobs that are covered by SS for about 20 years. She is now about 40 years old, and has an opportunity to be a teacher. Now if she teaches in Tx. she is covered by a retirement system that does not qualify for SS. In fact a couple of years ago, teachers would retire, take a job for a day or so that is covered by SS, and then apply for spousal SS. I understand they closed this loophole. However, does any one know what her status would be? Would she be eligible for SS on her record? Would she be eligible for spousal SS as her SS qualifying employment was before the loophole was close?

Never mind, looks like she would not be any SS.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
This is another what if. I have a niece that has worked off and on at various jobs that are covered by SS for about 20 years. She is now about 40 years old, and has an opportunity to be a teacher. Now if she teaches in Tx. she is covered by a retirement system that does not qualify for SS. In fact a couple of years ago, teachers would retire, take a job for a day or so that is covered by SS, and then apply for spousal SS. I understand they closed this loophole. However, does any one know what her status would be? Would she be eligible for SS on her record? Would she be eligible for spousal SS as her SS qualifying employment was before the loophole was close?

Never mind, looks like she would not be any SS.
Unless it's offset by the Texas school retirement, if she made money for 40 quarters (10 years) and paid SS, she gets it on her record. At least that is my understanding of it. They may have changed the definition slightly. But 20 years should more than do it.

The teachers that retired and worked a day...? I don't understand that - maybe they hadn't worked in a job that paid in to SS?

Disclaimer: not an attorney, etc.!
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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That's right, they had no SS history. I found several cases on the web that says if she qualifies for Texas Retirement, she looses her SS and her claim to spousal. Now, I wonder which is right.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:49 PM   #4
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Google Windfall Elimination Provision. It applies to federal employees (like me) and other public employees (state employees etc) who have pension plans that don't require that they pay into Social Security. I'm no expert on WEP, but basically, if you're coverend under such a plan, then you will be penalized unless you have 30 full years of "qualified" contributions into SS. A "qualified" year is one in which your social security covered income meets some pre-determined minimum threshold. Again..no expert, and only shooting from the hip...I believe that this year that qualified income would have to be somewhere around $30,000 or so.

In my personal situation, I worked during high school in SS covered jobs, making not much money, but still enough to earn SS "quarters". Then, while on active duty, the same situation. Once I went to work for the federal government as a civilian employee in 1981, I was no longer paying into SS. Sort of. Since I WAS a reservist, I was paying in a small amount each month, but that amount was too small to really count for anything. So....basically...I earned my rights to a future SS check when I reach the required age, because I did earn the minimum of 40 Quarters, but since I only paid in a small amount, and that contribution was mostly way back in the 70's & early 80's, and from then on I was covered under a public pension system in which no SS taxes were witheld, when I begin receiving my SS payment, it will be reduced by approximately 55%. If I start getting SS at age 62 (9 yrs from now) it will only be around $300.

I know I've left out a lot, so best bet is to google WEP/Windfall Elimination Provision. I expect you can find good info on it at the SS website as well. They recently sent me some WEP info in the mail.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:56 PM   #5
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Just for clarification...all federal employees since 1984 DO contribute to Social Security through payroll taxes just like everybody else in the private sector. I began my federal career in 1981, so I fall under the "old" CSRS, which is why I'm only going to get a small SS payment when the time comes. Not complaining, I bought my ticket and took my chances. No regrets.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:48 PM   #6
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Go to the SS site and search WEP and GPO. WEP reduces the amount of SS your neice would receive based on her own work record. GPO reduces or eliminates the amount she would receive based on her spouse's work record.

We have also discussed this on this site as well. So you could search here too.
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